Saturday, April 18, 2020

Looking through both darker and brighter side of COVID-19 pandemic

The schools and colleges are closed. The towns look desolate with only a handful of people and cars on the streets. The public offices and business organizations have gone quiet with people taking turns to come to work. Most of the people have chosen to stay at home, away from the crowds. The city of Thimphu which used to be bustling with human activities almost 24 hours a day now appears dead and dull. The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down the entire economy. With the number of confirmed cases and related deaths running in tens of thousands across the globe, we are beginning to feel the real weight of the pandemic. People are losing their jobs everyday as the countries are going through economic paralysis.

In Bhutan too, many people have been hit hard especially those working in hospitality and tourism industry. But with the blessings of His Majesty the King and the relentless effort of the government, everything is being well taken care of. Nevertheless, we cannot afford to be complacent as His Majesty the King constantly reminds us. Although Bhutan has all necessary measures in place to prevent community transmission, there is a huge risk that we might get it from the neighboring states of India. The recent news of Bhutanese people smuggling controlled substances from across the borders is really alarming particular at this point of time when the entire nation is fighting to keep the virus at bay. This pandemic has certainly become one of the most cataclysmic events of our times and hence, we cannot take things for granted.

However, while the COVID-19 has brought in some inconveniences and hardships in our everyday life, there is also a positive side to it. Although it has costed so many lives and destabilized the global economy, it has also given us the opportunity to take a break from our busy schedule and spend quality time at home. For years, we had been so busy with our professional and other responsibilities that we hardly had time for ourselves and our families. Now that social/physical distancing and remote working mechanisms are put in place, we have the opportunity to use this free time to reconnect ourselves with our children and rebuild the relationships at home. It has also given us the opportunity to reflect on death and impermanence as we pray for the dead and sick in the world every day, and look into the true meaning and purpose of our own existence. The death and suffering of thousands of people in the wake of this pandemic have shown us that nothing is permanent in life. This could be the best moment to explore our own inner self and become a better human being. May all sentient beings be blest with eternal peace and happiness!


  1. Hi Amrith,

    Great going. As they say it is not always gloom and doom - there is always a bright side to a situation - you just have to see it.